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Topic Review (Newest First)
07-19-2012 11:11 AM
Re: Possibly getting a hedgehog as a pet in the future

Thanks, Hillybean!

I am definitely in no rush to find a hedgie...it's going to be a while before I'll be ready. I really feel that a hedgie is a good fit for my lifestyle and my family's, but I want to keep reading/researching and get some hands on experience with them first.
07-18-2012 05:52 PM
Re: Possibly getting a hedgehog as a pet in the future

USDA doesn't mean much to ME personally.

I have gotten some REALLY unhealthy animals from USDA licensed people. On the same hand I have gotten some really good. The same goes for individual breeders that are not licensed..some amazing animals and some not so amazing.

I recommend putting a list together of people that have them available, and take your time checking them out...don't jump in.

A site that might have some breeders near you is: http://www.hedgehogbreeders.org/

Also be sure to check out some new owner posts...like "my hedgehog is evil" or "my hedgie hates me" . This will also help giving you an idea on what to expect .

Good luck in the learning!
07-18-2012 05:38 PM
Re: Possibly getting a hedgehog as a pet in the future

Originally Posted by Kalandra
I bet you were recommended Cedar Creek.
Yes, it was Cedar Creek! I don't mind driving that distance for a good vet either, but I'm thinking in an emergency type situation, would be good to have someone closer. One of my husband's co-workers is married to a vet that owns an emergency clinic. I'm going to find out if she knows anything about hedgehogs or of someone closer that does.

I've been "browsing" websites all day, looking at breeders, foods to feed, illnesses, etc. I see a lot of people selling hedgies on hoobly.com and makes me wonder if these people are equivalent to "backyard breeders" in dogs. Some say they are USDA licensed. Is that really a good thing? I mean puppymills are AKC approved, and I would never buy a dog from a puppymill. USDA licensed means what exactly? I want to make sure if I get a hedgie that I get one that has health clearances, was socialized properly, and all that good stuff. I can deal with a grumpy hedgehog...but sickly...I'd rather not. It breaks my heart. So if I can get one that has health clearances, I know it's got a lesser chance of having health problems. I know sometimes things just happen, no matter how healthy parents are and how well the babies are raised, but I want to reduce the risk as much as possible.

I think I am getting obsessed, lol. I haven't done anything I needed to get done today. I'm not sure what it is about them that is so intriguing to me, but the more I learn, the more I really love them! Now if I could only get my hubby on board. He's rolled his eyes at me more in the past week than in our 7 years together, haha.
07-18-2012 05:08 PM
Re: Possibly getting a hedgehog as a pet in the future

I bet you were recommended Cedar Creek. Dr. Nolan is a good vet. I have used him in the past and there are at least 2 or 3 others on here who do use him. He is one of those that will listen to you, will explain things in "English," and at least when I was going there, he was more than willing to listen to my experiences and to the suggestions coming from other owners. I only stopped seeing him because the vet I used before him moved back to a reasonable distance (about an hr from me). Driving an hour or 1.5 hrs for a good vet, is very worth it.

There was someone north of Lansing who had a couple of hedgehogs, and I think was either thinking about breeding or starting up a breeding herd. I don't remember who it is though.....
07-18-2012 02:15 PM
Re: Possibly getting a hedgehog as a pet in the future

Thanks, Smhufflepuff.

I do have a space heater already, but rarely use it as I really enjoy the cold, lol. I'll have to dust it off and see if it still works.

My bed has a mattress warmer on it and a down comforter. It is VERY toasty warm when we get in bed at night. I bet a little hedgie would love to burrow under there.
07-18-2012 02:02 PM
Re: Possibly getting a hedgehog as a pet in the future

Michigan here too. We keep the rest of the house colder than you do in the winter. But it hasn't been a problem for the hedgies. Their CHE's have kept up just fine with a little added help; eg, cages along the inside walls of the house, a blanket between the tabletop and the underside of the cage, blanket around the sides of the cage (with big holes for ventilation). The CHE's tend to keep the hedgie room warmer than the rest of the house by a few degrees.

When it's playtime, I bring them out to the main room of the house and turn on a space heater. Historically, mine have played a little bit on their own, but both have been snugglers who have pawed and nosed their way under the bottom edge of my shirt to sleep on my belly or have flattened themselves out to squeeze past my shirt cuff and walk up my arm until they've found the right spot... even in summer when you'd think it would be too hot for them to enjoy that. So, yes, provided yours is a snuggler, having him/her under your shirt is a definite possibility. That said, I did have one who liked to nip and tug at my bra... the part between the two cups. It typically ended after I looked back down at her through the neck hole of my shirt an issued a polite, "excuse me, but what do you think you are doing?"

And, like Kalandra cautioned, you might find yourself with a little one who has absolutely no interest in sitting still. Then you'll need to create a little play area that is warmer than the 65-68F. Using a space heater is a small room would take care of that quite nicely. You'll need to hedgie-proof the area for an explorer... cutting off means of hiding under things, getting into messes, being able to climb up stuff and fall off, preventing access to the heater, etc...
07-18-2012 01:42 PM
Re: Possibly getting a hedgehog as a pet in the future

Thanks for bringing up the defensive hedgehog, Kalandra.

I will admit that if I had a hedgehog that just hated to be handled all the time and was defensive like that, it would be a bit of a disappointment, but I understand it's a possibility. I definitely want to know everything I can before making decision on getting one. If I end up with one who is grumpy all the time no matter how much I try to socialize it, it will still have a home in our house.

So far, of all the supposed "cons" I've read about, the biggest concern I have is temperature regulation. Everything else I have no problems dealing with (poop, pee, errm...masturbation lol, defensive, biting, etc). I have even called my vet to find out if they are familiar with hedggies...they are not very familiar with them but they do see them. They did recommend a vet down by Lansing though, but I'm still going to look for one closer to home (i'm an hour or so north of Lansing). I would also like to find a breeder close to me that would be willing to let me come over and visit some hedgehogs before I make my decision.

Still lots of homework to do.
07-18-2012 12:48 PM
Re: Possibly getting a hedgehog as a pet in the future

I'm in Michigan too, and I don't keep the entire house at a hedgehog friendly temperature. I have a space heater that I use to keep the hedgehogs' room warm and a space heater in the TV room. I turn it on when we are having snuggle time so that room is comfortable for them.

Temperature is one of the most important things you have to consider. If you get it wrong, it can lead to a very sick or even dead hedgehog very quickly. We see quite a number every year who fail to get it right. So spend a lot of time on this topic.

Quills can hurt yes. But you get used to them. You learn how to pick them up so that it doesn't hurt as much and with a social hedgehog you won't even really notice them. Its with the more defensive, and those that are a bit aggressive with their defensiveness (popping and shoving their quills into your skin to make it hurt) where you are going to notice their quills.

Hedgehog personalities are very unique. You've listed out a variety, explorer, snuggler, etc, but here is one more to think about... the defensive hedgehog who is a challenge to interact with. If you get a hedgehog from a good breeder this is less likely to happen, but even the best breeders will produce a defensive hedgehog occasionally. Sometimes they are fine when you first take them home, but quilling happens and their personality becomes less friendly and more defensive. Can you deal with that? I bring it up, because we see quite a number enter rescue because "it wasn't what I expected.".

Keep reading, and asking questions. I'm not trying to discourage you from hedgehogs, but you seem like you are trying to figure out if it is a good fit. And learning about the negative stuff is important.
07-18-2012 12:07 PM
Possibly getting a hedgehog as a pet in the future

Hello everyone!

I'm cross-posting this from my introduction at: https://hedgehogcentral.com/forums/vi...p?f=27&t=18695

Would love opinions!

I am still reading the book (I am at lighting and heating sections right now). I also did a lot of research yesterday online and on this site...so I'm getting a pretty good feel for what is required and what to expect I think.

As far as cuddly goes, I want to clarify what I mean by that. I am a somewhat active person during the day. I take my dogs swimming at the lake (during summer months), go day camping (rarely overnight because I don't typically take my pets when we go) and I have a household to run, along with my hubby and son to care for. After dinner it's usually relax time in this house. That consists of watching tv, playing on the computer or just laying in bed chatting with the hubby. What I would love is to be able to have something small that will be content to hang in my lap while I watch TV or am on the computer. If the little one wants to explore or interact, that's great too, but if they just want to sleep in their little sleeping bag on my lap, I'd be happy as well. I don't really expect to snuggle and play kissy face with a hedgehog...but if they are into it, I won't mind.

I like the fact that when I need to get things done at home, hedgehogs like to sleep. It seems to fit my schedule well.

My biggest concern right now is keeping one warm. I'm in Michigan and we have very cold winters usually. During the winter our house usually is between 65-68 degrees. I have no problem setting up a nice warm home for a hedgehog with the CHE + thermostat, and getting the lights put on timers and all of that. My concern is when I want to take him out and have him in my lap, is that going to be too cold for him? I thought if the little guy comes to trust me, he could hang out on my (ample) chest, where it's toasty warm. I don't want to risk hibernation or the little guy getting sick, and I won't be able to really keep the entire house warmer, so does that mean he'd have to stay in his box all the time? Or is coming out and sitting with me in his sleeping bag or under my shirt good enough for social hour?
The last thing I want to add is that I understand that the quills can hurt sometimes. I'm not afraid of this at all. I used to work at an aviary many years ago and was "bitten" by some rather nasty amazons during that time and some smaller birds as well. I am good at not reacting to those kinds of situations (screaming or shrieking, jerking my hand away, etc). I learned very quickly that to react to biting or pain only reinforces those behaviors. I know it is a possibility that I might get bitten, or that the quills may prick me. I'm fine with that and not squeamish at all.

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